Canada to continue to free ride on defense

Washington Post:

Canada announced Thursday that it has decided not to participate in a U.S. missile defense system, dealing a symbolic setback to the experimental project and a blunt rebuff to President Bush, who had personally lobbied Canada to join.

The decision by Prime Minister Paul Martin, who had earlier signaled he favored signing on to the system, was an acknowledgment of the deep dislike Canadians feel both for President Bush and his administration's project to shoot down missiles headed toward the United States.

"We will continue to work in partnership with our southern neighbors on the common defense of North America," Martin said. "However, ballistic missile defense is not where we will concentrate our efforts."

It is hard to say where the Canadians will concentrate their efforts. At this point the Texas National Guard is probably more potent, and is certainly making more of a contribution to defending North America.

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